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Information for Unsuccessful Applicants

The information below may help you evaluate your application should you wish to reapply. The information provided below is by no means all inclusive but is intended to be a resource for unsuccessful applicants wishing to reapply to NOSM.

Was your application competitive?


As with other Canadian medical schools, admission to NOSM is highly competitive. We received 2,089 applications for the 64 seats for the entering class of 2017.  It is important to keep in mind that many qualified applicants are not invited to interview simply due to the competitive nature of the application process. NOSM received 32.6 applications per available spot (64) for the 2017 admission cycle.

The screening of applications for invitation to interview is based on three approximately equally weighted areas:

1.      Undergraduate cumulative GPA (grade point average)

2.      Autobiographic sketch/application questionnaire score

3.      Context score


1. What was your Grade Point Average (GPA)?

Did you meet the minimum 3.0 GPA requirement?  If not your application would have been disqualified.  

Although meeting the minimum GPA requirements makes you eligible for consideration, it is important to be competitive within the applicant pool.

GPA Calculation facts to consider….

  • Grades are converted by OMSAS using a 4.0 scale according to the OMSAS Grade Conversion Table
  • The GPA that appears on the OMSAS application is not necessarily the GPA that NOSM will use. NOSM calculates the GPA using all of the grades of undergraduate courses completed as of the OMSAS application deadline that are listed   on the transcript prior to the date, the degree is awarded. Additional undergraduate courses completed after a degree is awarded are not used in the GPA calculation unless they are part of as second undergraduate degree that will be completed prior to June 30th of the year of potential enrolment at NOSM.
  • Marks for the final year courses that were in progress at the time of application were not included in the GPA. Should you reapply in the future, your completed course work will be included in your GPA.
  • Applicants who are in the process of completing a second undergraduate degree program must have completed, at minimum, the equivalent of one full year of undergraduate course credits (not including transfer credits) at the time of application.
  • More than one Degree: An applicant with more than one undergraduate degree would have been have their GPA calculated in two ways, with the higher GPA of the two methods being employed.  (Please Note: after this application cycle for the entering class of 2017, this policy is no longer valid)

    (1) Previous Policy: the GPA of each degree calculated and the highest GPA will be used as the GPA for the application. Transfer credit course grades are not included in the calculation of the subsequent undergraduate degree. Only newly completed courses will be included in the GPA calculation of the subsequent undergraduate degree.

    (2) New Policy: The GPA is calculated on all converted undergraduate course grades completed at a recognized institution as of October 1, 2016. 

  • We do not round up in our calculation, so if your GPA was 2.98, your application would have been disqualified.
  • Graduate Degrees: After the initial GPA calculation to ensure compliance with the above cut-off, an additional 0.2 will be added to the undergraduate GPA. For example, your undergraduate GPA is 3.3. Your final GPA for consideration will be 3.5. Your graduate degree must be conferred and NOSM must have received your final transcript indicating graduation by December 30th of the application year in order to be considered for the 0.2 addition.

3. Did you represent yourself well on the Autobiographic Sketch/Admissions Questionnaire?

Autobiographic Sketch

  • The score you receive for this portion of the application is based upon both your Autobiographic   Sketch and the answers to the Admissions Questionnaire. 
  • NOSM is looking for highly motivated students from a variety of backgrounds, who are self-directed, who will thrive in a small group- based, distributed learning environment, who have a genuine interest in helping us fulfil our mandate and who uphold our values.  
  • Do you know what NOSM’s values?  Did you show your interest in those values through your autobiographical sketch and questionnaire?
  • Is your aptitude for practicing medicine in in Northern urban, rural and remote communities demonstrated?
  • Did you list all of the activities that will provide the Admissions Committee with insight into who you are? Your autobiographic sketch should be a comprehensive list of the pertinent details of your activities since the age of 16. 
  • Did you include experiences, both structured and non-structured, that demonstrate an ability to determine needs in one’s community and a willingness to play a part in filling those needs? 
  • Do your activities demonstrate that you are well rounded and lead a balanced lifestyle outside of academics?

Admissions Questionnaire

The admissions questionnaire is an important part of the application. It provides the Admissions Committee with insight into who you are and what your motivation in applying to medical school and NOSM in particular.

  • Did you reflect on the questions and formulate thoughtful answers?
  • Did you check, check and triple check your submission? You may want to ask other people to read your submissions and provide you with their feedback. 
  • Did you actually answer the specific question that was asked?  For example when you answered the questions Why NOSM, did you speak about NOSM specifically or did you simply explain why you are applying to medicine in general?

3. Context Score

NOSM has a mandate to admit a class of learners who reflect the demographics of the population of Northern Ontario. Thus is the intention of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine to maximize the recruitment of students who are from Northern Ontario and/or students who have a strong interest in and aptitude for practicing medicine in Northern urban, rural and remote communities. We are also committed to recruiting Indigenous and Francophone students.

Based upon our stated mandate, we calculate a context score to applicants based where they have lived throughout their lives within Canada.  

In the end, the application process for admission to NOSM is highly competitive. Not receiving an invitation to interview, assuming you met our minimum academic requirements, simply means your application was not as competitive as others. 


4. NOSM Interviews (MMI)

There is not any specific information we can give you in regards to the MMI.  Our admissions process was designed to select the best possible candidates for the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. Approximately 320 candidates have made it to the interview stage are those most highly ranked based on their: cumulative grade point average in their undergraduate program, answers to specific questions asked as part of their application; autobiographic sketch; and context. The interview score is worth 50% of their overall selection score, with the other 50% based on their pre-interview score.

  All decisions are final and will not be reviewed. There is no option to appeal Admissions decisions


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